Women@NASA’s Aspire 2 Inspire (A2I) program was created by the 2011 NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) FIRST fellows with support from Women@NASA. The fellows have since completed the program, and now A2I is fully managed by the Women@NASA team. We are thrilled to bring young women and girls, and really all kids everywhere, what YOU want. Read on to find out you can be involved! We consider this to be YOUR program, and we are here for YOU!
We hope you have watched the STEM films provided on this website and perhaps felt inspired to know more! We aim to maintain a conversation with you through Twitter updates and the Engage page. If you are interested in NASA, science, and/or technology and want to be involved, join us on Twitter (@a2iSTEM) or comment on the Engage page. To learn more about being involved with the entire Women@NASA program, visit us here.
On Twitter, use the hashtags #a2iSTEM and #WomenNASA to tell us what you need from us. We are listening!
On Facebook, leave us a post on our main page here.
Our target age group is any student in school who is online, either web surfing or using social media. We believe students in grades 8-12 may benefit the most from the online type of engagement, discussion of internships and co-ops, and knowledge of young professional careers that use science, technology, engineering, and math regularly. Younger students (grades 5-8) should check out NASA G.I.R.L.S. , and the higher education audience should look for the NASA event celebrating Women’s History Month every year in March.
Mission, Vision, and Goals: Aspire 2 Inspire
NASA’s vision for Aspire 2 Inspire was to reach out to young girls and present some of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career opportunities through the real lives and jobs of early career women at NASA. This is not to say that NASA is or should be the ultimate goal of anyone entering a STEM field. Far from that, this effort is intended to show that regardless of what specific industry a young girl desires to end up in, there truly are opportunities in STEM that are real and rewarding. In that way, this effort simply uses NASA as the context to tell that story.
The Aspire 2 Inspire team set about the project by breaking it up into components. We wanted to spark the interest of young girls, and we chose to use the short digital films featuring early career women at NASA to do just that. These films can be used together or separately as particular audiences desire.
Next, we wanted to connect by establishing a broad reach across not only formal education channels but also a network of clubs, societies, and other institutions that focus on development of girls in the same age range. These groups can use the content we created for career days, merit badges, and other STEM-related purposes. A “One Pager” flyer is available for printing that can be handed out at events that captures not only our project’s information but also the contact information for many such organizations.
With Spark and Connect in mind, we wanted to ensure we also engaged the audience. We use relevant social media (streaming digital films over the internet along with Twitter) to create a forum for continued conversation. Viewers can submit questions via the Engage page and Twitter. Best of all, the early career women in our STEM videos Tweet regularly about their jobs! If you trained an astronaut for a flight to the International Space Station, wouldn’t you want to share the experience with others? NASA does!
We also created an overview film that works to tie the story together in the context of NASA and asks what young girls aspire to do for the next step. Finally, our website serves as an anchor location to find all the films, conversations, and information to help any young woman take the next step.
Why did we do all this? We believe young girls should be empowered because they are valuable and can make significant contributions to STEM.
The 2011 NASA JSC FIRST Fellows are pictured above.
Front row from left: Julie Mitchell, Elena Fermin, Diane Dailey
Back row from left: Jesse Buffington, David Lantz, Michael Duckworth, Steve Wilson